søndag 21. mars 2021

Hong Kong’s arts scene shudders as Beijing draws cultural red line

After successfully muzzling Hong Kong’s democracy protests and opposition, Beijing’s loyalists have warned art institutions about their collections as they seek to impose mainland-style orthodoxy on culture and purge the city of dissent. Newly built on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, M+ Museum aims to rival western contemporary heavyweights like London’s Tate Modern and New York’s MoMA.

The 60,000 square-metre venue is finally set to open later this year after multiple delays. But it has already found itself in hot water. Earlier this week a group of prominent pro-Beijing local politicians accused the museum of breaching a sweeping national security law that China imposed on Hong Konglast year in response to 2019’s democracy protests.

The cause of the complaint, filed to police on Tuesday, was the content of a media preview, including works by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. “Many of the pieces are spreading hatred against the country,” pro-Beijing lawmaker Eunice Yung said in a recent question to city leader Carrie Lam in the legislature.